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Mediterranean - Continuity of Man

"The Pacific may have the most changeless, ageless aspect of any ocean but the Mediterranean Sea celebrates the continuity of man." (Ernle Bradford, author of 'Mediterranean: Portrait of a Sea')

The Mediterranean region has many faces. Rich in history and blessed with a pleasant climate, the Med is the most popular tourist destination in the world. Over 220 million tourists flock to Mediterranean beaches every year, putting great pressure on the natural environment.

At the same time, the sea functions as an unintentional castle-moat around Fortress Europe. Despite the danger and tens of thousands of reported deaths, large numbers of desperate migrants and refugees from Africa and Asia persist in trying to cross the waters in rickety boats, hoping for a chance at a better life in Europe.

From 2010 to 2014 Nick Hannes travelled the length and breadth of the Mediterranean Sea, documenting contemporary issues such as tourism, urbanisation, borders and migration in 20 different countries that border the sea. While he was working on the project, the region regularly hit the headlines: the economic crisis in Greece, the Arab Spring, boat refugees, wars in Libya, Syria, and Gaza.

'Mediterranean. The Continuity of Man' is a kaleidoscopic documentary portrait of a region and the Zeitgeist, characterised by huge contrasts and crises of different kinds. These photographs juxtapose parallel realities in order to put things in perspective. The enriching crossroads of cultures Bradford refers to in the quote above have today become a barrier. The cradle of civilisation has become a grave for many.

"Here, at this crossroads of space and time, where the ancient sea indifferently links or divides people; here, just like in Nick Hannes’ photos, people are coincidental passers-by in the unscrupulous, ever repeating spectacle that we call History." Michael De Cock

The project has been published as a book which is available from Hannibal Publishing here.
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